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House Bill Would Protect Catholics from Discrimination on Marriage

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The Marriage and Religious Freedom Act would prevent federal government from discriminating against citizens and organizations that support traditional marriage.

Legislation that is garnering some support from both sides of aisle and leading Catholic bishops was introduced recently in Congress which would prevent the federal government from discriminating against citizens and organizations —including The Cardinal Newman Society and Catholic schools and colleges — that  believe and act in support of traditional marriage.

H.R. 3133, The Marriage and Religious Freedom Act, was introduced by Rep. Raul Labrador of Idaho with more than 60 co-sponsors.

“Regardless of your ideology, we can all agree about the importance of religious liberty in America,” he said, according to Christian News. “Our bill will protect freedom of conscience for those who believe marriage is the union of one man and one woman.”

Incidents abound where those who believe and support traditional marriage face legal consequences for their beliefs, especially Catholic schools, colleges and universities.

In fact, recently, The Cardinal Newman Society reported that a Catholic high school in California could face legal action after it fired a teacher of 16 years whose same-sex marriage was featured in a local newspaper.

And recently, the New Mexico Supreme Court ruled that a Christian photographer had no right to decline to take pictures of a same-sex ceremony.

In recent years, many Catholic adoption and foster care agencies were forced to stop providing those services because they objected to placing children in same-sex households.

Some legislators in California proposed a bill earlier this year which sought to revoke the tax-exempt status of any youth organization that believes homosexual behavior is sinful.

The bill in Congress currently would prevent the federal government from discriminating against anyone over their beliefs on marriage in any way including tax policy, receiving contracts and employment.

“Our bill will ensure tolerance for individuals and organizations that affirm traditional marriage, protecting them from adverse federal action,” Labrador said.

Originally published by The Cardinal Newman Society's Catholic Education Daily on 25 September 2013.

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